Saturday, May 05, 2007

National election results

Needless to say, my elation (and it's an apt adjective for how happy I feel) about Sarah's re-election has been slightly tainted by the overall SNP majority of 1 in the Parliament - but that's politics, and I'm not complaining ... just a bit sore!

What I do find a bit objectionable is the automatic assumption that the leader of the SNP will become First Minister - this is simply arrant nonsense. If it happens, that's life - but it will 'only' happen if 65 MSP's elect him as First Minister and NOT because his Party have got 1 more MSP than anyone else.

Everyone involved in Scottish politics knows this; and it thus makes it all the more annoying that some politicians were running around the media, in the run-up to Thursday, saying that the largest party would have the moral authority to form the Government and elect the First Minister ... it's simply NOT true.

Have a look at what happened in Sweden recently, a country run by the equivalent of 'Labour' for decades - 'Labour' were the biggest Party in the September 2006 national election, but the 'Tories' form the biggest coalition and lo-and-behold the 'First Minister is a 'Tory'. It's absolute standard practice on the continent in all countries with PR and political activists in Scotland know it fine well.

Needless to say - exactly the same principle applies to Local Authorities as well.


Ed said...

I do agree. The 'moral authority' argument is absolute tosh. No surprise there as it came from Hector McNicol.
I hear Tavish Scott ruled out a coalition today with Labour - presumably because Labour had lost 4 seats. However, the Greens, despite losing five are to be wooed?

Anonymous said...

Labour could join with any party just to keep SNP from power just for spite. SNP have the majority votes and they could be denied the democratic right to govern - be it for good or bad.

There is something wrong here. There is something that the UK government is afraid off.

In truth Scotland could go it alone and so could England. A Free England. We could have a trading alliance between the various countries making up the British Isles. Scotland could still build ships for the Navy - English or Scots or Welsh. England could still make Yorshire puddings for the Scots.The Welsh could sell leeks to both.

Being British does not mean English. It means English,Scottish, Welsh all nations.

I would suggest having a British Isles Council which could be a Nato for looking after joint defence issues. England could have their own government. Wales too.
All countries would apply to the EU for membership.

There would need to be a fair distribution of assets as an act of settlement between all the countries based of what each country has contributed to the well being of the union over the years.

A fresh and objective look at how it CAN be acheived is what is required.

A CAN DO instead of CANT DO.

A Truely Scottish Labour , Conservative and Liberal Democrat party who can think and do for the people of Scotland.

Why is England so worried by Scotland's people wish to go it alone?

The British Isles could still be a formidable force it the world because we have allowed the nations within these isles to democratically govern themselves.

Its time to listen to the people and not sufficate new democracies.

Andrew said...


They've now ruled out coalition with the SNP also ... looks like minority Government is on the way?

Will get interesting when SNP manifesto commitments, like the Local Income Tax, start to be legislated for ;-((


Andrew said...


Thanks for your comment.

Hopefully you'll realise from the tone of my blog that I am absolutely no tribalist opponent of Independence; but come on, you can't claim that the "SNP have the majority votes" - they do not.

They have 47 out of 129 MSPs (36.4% of MSPS), and 32.9% of the contiuency vote (only 0.7% ahead of Labour) and 31.0% of the List vote.

Of course Scotland could go it alone, if it chose to do so, and the arrangements you describe sound more like Federalism (which I'm firm supporter of) as opposed to outright Independence.

Now, if the SNP had dropped their claim to outright Independence before the campaign started they may well have formed a stable coalition by now - the fact that they didn't speaks volumes about where the real stumbling block to thier political project lies.


Anonymous said...

I`m afraid the Swedish comparison doesn`t quite work. Yes there is a coalition of smaller parties who formt he government (4 in fact) but it was made claer to the electorate through a long and public pre-election pact (the Alliance for Sweden) that this was their intention.

Look to Ireland and the current election where there is a long standing and public pre-election pact between Labour and Fine Gael. Pre-election pacts are fairly common in PR systems and it is when these are in place that since the combined parties beomce the largest 'block' they assume right to start the formation of a government.

As long as we have the AMS I don`t see pre-election pacts becoming a feature in our politics. With STV foir the parliament I think it would be on the cards.

Andrew said...


I do take your point about the Swedish example, and on scrapping AMS we can definitely agree!

STV should have been used from the first SP elections in 1999 ... let's hope it will be in 2011 ;-))